Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2 – 4
In her Made to Crave devotional, Lysa TerKeurst encourages readers to “consider the joy.”
I’ve pondered how I can consider the joy of a weight loss journey, and embraced the joy of having self-control, the joy making good decisions, the joy of finding God in unexpected places as I walk this road. These are all joys of the journey, daily experiences I can celebrate, even before I see the results of my efforts.
Another Scripture talks about how Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Not the joy of the trial, but the result that would come through His willingness to sacrifice for us. It helps me persevere to consider the long-term joy of the short-term sacrifices I’m making, too. Of course cutting calories and making better eating choices is nothing compared to Jesus’ death on the cross, but they are my little daily trials.
There’s a lot of power in that one word, consider. Much of my weight loss journey since I began on October 24th has just been taking time to consider, like thinking about my eating choices instead of making them mindlessly, or considering how to manage my day to include exercise.
Mindfulness is another word I’ve pondered the last few months. I want to be mindful of my choices, whether or not I move, eat well, drink water, let my emotions run away or reel them in. Being mindful of my needs and moods are part of this. I’ve found that when I’m angry or lonely or sad or sacred a good long walk and conversation with God does a whole lot more for me that a bag of chocolate. In the past I wouldn’t have considered that possibility. I wouldn’t have been mindful of my choices or what I really needed. I might not have even been mindful of where my emotions were in the first place!
Today I’m convicted that in the past I didn’t consider what God wanted in the area of my health. In the big picture I didn’t think about good health or His desires for my body. Honestly, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want conviction; I just wanted to do it my way, which meant not thinking about it at all. I certainly didn’t pause to ask Him about right choices day-to-day choices.
Since October I’ve caught a glimpse of His heart. He wants me stronger and healthier, to be the size He created me to be so that I can have more energy and joy and ease of movement. I’m getting better about dialoguing with Him about the day-to-day choices I make. I don’t ask permission before every bite, but when I’m tempted to eat out of an emotional need versus a physical one, I am learning to pause, to consider the joy of a healthy choice that leads to long-term success, and to be mindful of the Truth that only HE can fill emotional and spiritual emptiness.
Give us a glimpse of the joy set before us when we feel stronger and healthier. Help us to be mindful of our needs and of how you want to meet them. Help us to consider the options that draw us closer to you, that give us health, that work for and not against joy.